Last year’s report that slacker savants Stephen Malkmus and Beck had entered the studio for a collaboration gave rise to hopes that the two were finally merging to into some kind of alt-rock Voltron, one that wielded bizarre latter-day Beat poetry instead of a laser sword. But alas, that day of mellow reckoning has yet to come: Matador has confirmed that they were just working on the next Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks album, Mirror Traffic, which Beck produced. You can hear the fruits of their labor on August 23—a record that Matador both proudly announces “is the album that ties together Stephen’s skill-set like none of its predecessors,” and regretfully relates will be the last to feature former Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss, who’s leaving the group to concentrate on playing in Wild Flag with ex-bandmate Carrie Brownstein and Helium’s Mary Timony. See, Beck and Malkmus, that’s how you do ’90s indie-rock all-star team-ups.
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